March 17, 2015
SAN JOSÉ STATE HOSTS SAINT MARY'S IN MIDWEEK TILT
Saint Mary's College of the West Coast Conference visits Municipal Stadium Tuesday night in a 6:00 p.m. first pitch. The Spartans are going for their 100th win in the all-time series after picking up a pair of victories in last season's home-and-home set. Tuesday night marks San José State's second-to-last home midweek game, as Municipal Stadium will not host nonconference action again until Santa Clara visits on May 12.
WEAR GREEN AND SAVE GREEN!
In honor of St. Patrick's Day, fans wearing green to Municipal Stadium Tuesday night will receive general admission tickets for just $3!
Saint Mary's (12-7, 2-1 WCC) at San José State (7-12, 1-5 MW)
Tues. March 17 6:00 p.m.
Pitching Matchup: Tues. - RHP Hilario Tovar (1-0, 9.00) vs. RHP Jake Valdez (1-1, 2.57)
Live Video: www.sjsuspartans.com/videos
Live Stats: Via Gametracker & Statbroadcast
Radio: KSJS 90.5 FM, Spartan Digital Network
Chad Oklin-Jolin, Daniel Barrerra
Social Media: @SJSUAthletics | @SJSUBaseball | #GoSpartans
All-Time Series: San José State leads, 99-47
The Spartans lead the all-time series 99-47 after pounding the Gaels 10-0 last season at home and pulling out a 6-3 victory on the road. San José State's last loss to Saint Mary's came in Moraga in 2013, and the Gaels have not won at Municipal Stadium since the second game of the 2010 season.
SCOUTING SAINT MARY'S
Led by second-year head coach Eric Valenzuela, the Gaels enter Tuesday with a 12-7 overall record and a 2-1 mark in WCC action. Saint Mary's has not lost a weekend series this season, having taken three-of-four from Seattle and Utah Valley, two-of-three from Pacific and split four-game sets with Eastern Michigan and Cal State Northridge. Junior outfielder/pitcher Anthony Gonsolin has started all 19 games in the outfield or at designated hitter and is also one of the WCC's top relievers with five saves. Senior second baseman Collin Ferguson returned to SMC after being drafted in the 23rd round by the Oakland Athletics last year and is hitting .392 with 11 doubles and four home runs.
Spartans DROP PAIR AT UC IRVINE
Despite a 4-0 win in the series opener last Friday, San José State couldn't seal the series at UC Irvine, falling 5-2 on Satuday and 4-1 on Sunday at Cicerone Field at Anteater Ballpark. Kalei Contrades nearly went the distance on Friday, tossing 8.2 innings of shutout ball and allowing only three hits while striking out three and walking one. The senior has now thrown 17.0 consecutive scoreless innings, spanning three outings. The Spartans held 1-0 leads in games two and three, but a trio of home runs by Cameron Bishop - one Saturday and two Sunday - put the Anteaters on top for good in both contests.
BAUTISTA NAMED SAN josÉ State FEBRUARY STUDENT-ATHLETE OF THE MONTH
Sophomore outfielder/designated hitter Brett Bautista was one of two February Spartan Foundation Student-Athletes of the Month, presented by ScholarShare. Bautista hit .480 (12-for-25) and reached base safely in all eight games during the month of February. He drew seven walks and had three multi-hit games, including two three-hit performances.
NEW FACES ALL AROUND
San José State fields one of the youngest teams in the country in 2015. Two transfer juniors, Ozzy Braff (Whitman College) and Dillan Smith (Palomar Community College), join a 16-man freshman class, 15 of which have seen action this season. The Spartans' roster features 25 underclassmen and just nine upperclassmen.
FRESHMAN DUAL THREATS
Three San José State freshmen - Josh Nashed, Turtle Kuhaulua and Dylan Sugimoto - have seen time on the mound and in the field in 2015. Kuhaulua threw 13.2 innings without allowing an earned run to start his Spartans career and leads the team with five saves in addition to starting 17 games at second base and posting a .230 batting average in 61 at-bats. Nashed had his best outing of the season at SDSU (2/28), tossing 4.0 innings of one-run ball.
MERCURIO A VETERAN IN THE FIELD
Through March 16, senior center fielder Andre Mercurio has 166 games played under his belt. The San Mateo, Calif., resident and Serra High School product owns a .291 career batting average in 636 at-bats with a .996 fielding percentage patrolling the outfield. A 2013 second-team All-Mountain West selection after making all 57 starts that season, Mercurio was hampered by a wrist injury in 2014 that forced him to miss 10 games early in the year and limited him to just 40 starts. Mercurio and Kalei Contrades represent the only players on the roster in their fourth year at San José State, with Myles Richard, the third senior on the 2015 Spartans, transferring from Mount Hood Community College before the 2014 season.
CONTRADES EARNS PAIR OF PRESEASON AWARDS
Senior right-hander Kalei Contrades was one of two pitchers to be named to the 2015 Mountain West Preseason All-Conference Team, as voted on by the conference's head coaches, in addition to being selected to the Perfect Game Preseason All-Mountain West team. Contrades is coming off a stellar junior campaign in which he appeared in 17 games, making seven starts, and posted a 5-2 record with a 2.50 ERA in 79.1 innings.
Tom Kunis RETURNS TO SAN JOSÉ STATE AS PITCHING COACH
Tom Kunis, an assistant on former skipper Sam Piraro's staff from 1988-91 and 2009-11, returns for a third stint and an eighth season with the Spartans in 2015. Kunis and head coach Dave Nakama coached together for six seasons (2002-07) at Stanford under Mark Marquess, where the pair aided the Cardinal to two Pac-10 conference titles and five NCAA Tournament appearances, including three Super Regional appearances and two College World Series berths. In his 28 years of coaching, 51 of Kunis' pitchers have been drafted professionally.
SPARTANS TESTED EARLY AND OFTEN IN 2015
Six of San José State's opponents - Cal Poly, Stanford, UC Irvine, UNLV, Oregon State and San Diego State - received regional berths last season. Cal Poly and Oregon State each hosted a regional, Stanford won the Bloomington Regional before falling to eventual national champion Vanderbilt in the Nashville Super Regional, and UC Irvine advanced to the College World Series by winning the Corvallis Regional and Stillwater Super Regional.
MOUNTAIN WEST DIGITAL NETWORK COVERAGE
All San José State home games and road conference games will be streamed live on the Mountain West Digital Network. Fans can access the live streams at www.sjsuspartans.com/videos.
NEW MEXICO PICKED TO WIN MOUNTAIN WEST
Defending Mountain West co-champion New Mexico was tabbed to win the conference in 2015, garnering three first-place votes and 30 total points. The poll, voted on by the conference's seven head coaches, placed the Spartans seventh.
SUNDAY FUNDAY AT MUNI
All season long, kids under 12 years old will receive free admission to Spartan baseball games on Sundays. In addition, youth baseball teams are invited to join the Spartans every Sunday at Municipal Stadium for Sunday Funday. Participating teams will take the field with San José State for the national anthem and get to run the bases after the conclusion of the game. Those interested in reserving a date for their team are encouraged to call the Spartan Ticket Office at 408-924-SJTX (7589).